Kalyn's Kitchen

Spicy Mexican Slaw with Lime and Cilantro (Video)

Spicy Mexican Slaw with Lime and Cilantro is a perfect low-carb side dish for Mexican food, and this is salad I make over and over. 

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Low-Carb Spicy Mexican Slaw with Lime and Cilantro

Cinco de Mayo is coming up this weekend, and if you’re making any kind of Mexican dinner to celebrate I want to remind you about this Spicy Mexican Slaw with Lime and Cilantro thats absolutely perfect for a low-carb side dish for Mexican food.  I’m not sure I could ever pick my number one favorite salad recipe, but Spicy Mexican Slaw is a salad I’ve been crazy over for years.

This recipe has so many of my favorite ingredients that when I first tried the salad (in 2008!) after one bite I knew I’d be making it over and over again. Since then this has become a regular offering for family parties and wedding showers, with one bowl with cilantro and another bowl for the cilantro-haters with lots of thinly sliced green onion replacing the cilantro. And I always use plenty of Green Tabasco Sauce for a spicy kick, although any hot sauce you like can be used. If you like cabbage salads at all, I urge you to try this salad; I bet you’ll love it just as much as I do.

What ingredients do you need for this recipe?

  • green cabbage
  • red cabbage
  • green onions
  • chopped fresh cilantro (If you’re not a cilantro fan just use more green onion.)
  • mayo
  • fresh lime juice (I use my fresh-frozen lime juice)
  • hot sauce, or to taste (See notes.)
  • Vege-Sal or salt to taste

Low-Carb Spicy Mexican Slaw with Lime and Cilantro

How to make this recipe:

(Scroll Down for complete printable recipe.)

  1. Whisk together the mayo, lime juice, and hot sauce to make the dressing. (Start with smaller amounts of lime juice and hot sauce and taste it until it seems perfect to you.)
  2. Thinly slice the green and red cabbage. (This is easiest and you’ll get best results with a mandoline slicer (affiliate link).
  3. Chop green onions and cilantro and mix with the cabbage, then stir in just enough dressing to moisten the slaw.
  4. Season with salt or Vege-Sal to taste, and devour!
  5. This is best freshly made, but I’ve eaten leftovers for breakfast many times after they’d been in the fridge overnight, not minding at all that the red cabbage turns the salad pink when it sits. And I wouldn’t mind a bit having this in the fridge for a quick lunch!

Low-Carb Spicy Mexican Slaw with Lime and Cilantro found on KalynsKitchen.com

Going Crazy Over Cabbage Salad:

Ridiculously Easy Blue Cheese Coleslaw ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Vietnamese Cold Chicken Salad ~ A Spicy Perspective
Warm Red Cabbage Salad with Bacon and Goat Cheese ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Hoisin Snap Pea and Red Cabbage Slaw ~ Cookin’ Canuck
Red Cabbage and Chicken Asian Salad with Tangy Cilantro Dressing ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Crunchy Asian Cabbage Slaw with Peanut Dressing ~ Little Ferraro Kitchen
Puerto Rican Spicy Cabbage Salad ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen

Weekend Food Prep:

This recipe has been added to a new category called Weekend Food Prep  to help you find recipes you can prep or cook on the weekend and eat during the week! If you want to make this for Weekend Food Prep, you can store the leftover cabbage and dressing separately and add dressing to each serving right before you eat it.

Low-Carb Spicy Mexican Slaw with Lime and Cilantro found on KalynsKitchen.com

Spicy Mexican Slaw with Lime and Cilantro

Yield 6 servings
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

This Low-Carb Spicy Mexican Slaw is a salad that I make all the time, and I think this is a perfect side dish.


Salad Ingredients

  • 4 cups thinly sliced green cabbage
  • 2 cups thinly sliced red cabbage (You can use all green or all red cabbage.)
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced, or more
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro, or more (If you’re not a cilantro fan just use more green onion.)

Dressing Ingredients

  • 4 T mayo (or a little more if you like your salad with lots of dressing)
  • 3 T fresh lime juice; more or less to taste (see notes)
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce, or to taste (See notes.)
  • salt to taste (I used Vege-Sal which I greatly prefer over regular salt for this salad.)


  1. In small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together, mayo, lime juice, and hot sauce. (Start with less than the full amount of lime juice and hot sauce and keep adding until you have the desired blend of sour/hot flavor.)
  2. Thinly slice cabbage, using a mandoline slicer  if you have one.
  3. Slice green onions.
  4. Wash, dry and chop cilantro. (I use a mini salad spinner to wash herbs and spin them dry.)
  5. Combine cabbage, green onions and cilantro in large salad bowl.
  6. Use a wooden spoon to mix dressing into cabbage mixture.
  7. Season to taste with salt or Vege-Sal (affiliate link) and serve immediately, or chill for a few hours.
  8. This salad will keep well overnight in the refrigerator, but the lime juice will cause the red cabbage to bleed color and turn the salad slightly pink. If you’re making extra you might want to use all green cabbage, although I didn’t mind the pink color at all when I ate the leftovers!
  9. Another good strategy if you’re not cooking for many people is to chop the cabbage and green onion and mix the dressing for the full amount and store in the fridge, then chop cilantro and stir salad together in smaller amounts as you’re going to eat it.


If you’re not crazy about sour and hot flavors, start with a smaller amount of lime and hot sauce and add more to the dressing until it tastes good to you. I like this best with Green Tabasco Sauce (affiliate link), but I’ve made it with Sriracha Sauce (affiliate link) many times. Any hot sauce will work, but hot sauce that’s orange will turn the cabbage pink if it’s refrigerated overnight.

Recipe adapted slightly from Fine Cooking Annual 2008.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 104Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 4mgSodium: 189mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 3gSugar: 5gProtein: 2g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.

If you make this recipe I'd love to hear how it turns out. Leave a star rating or share on social media with the hashtag #KALYNSKITCHEN, thanks!

Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Spicy Mexican Slaw with Lime and Cilantro is a perfect side dish for most any low-carb eating plans, including any phase of the original South Beach Diet, and it’s also gluten-free, meatless, vegan, and can be Paleo or Whole 30 with approved mayo and hot sauce. South Beach would prefer low-fat mayo; other low-carb diets would prefer full-fat, so take your choice on that.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Salad Recipes to find more low-carb salad recipes like this one. Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

Pinterest image of Spicy Mexican Slaw with Lime and Cilantro

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    106 Comments on “Spicy Mexican Slaw with Lime and Cilantro (Video)”

  1. This sounds like a perfect dish to sit down with on the upcoming warm spring nights!

  2. Slaw is something I grew up thinking I didn’t like. Now it’s a favorite that we have all year almost once a week. I’ll have to try this one. Lime and cilantro that’s got to be a winner! I’ve gotten pretty good at making just what the two of us will eat as we like it crispy!

  3. Wonderful looking salad! I seem to always prefer cabbage over lettuce these days just because it lasts longer! Thanks so much for including my recipe too!

  4. I’m just so happy that people are liking the sound of this because I was worried I was getting in too much of a cabbage rut!

    Doren, can’t think of any reason that coleslaw wouldn’t work, although I think freshly cut cabbage is a bit crisper. I’m sure it would still be delicious though!

  5. sounds great. any reason we couldn’t do it with bagged shredded cabbage, sold in the stores as cole slaw mix?

  6. This slaw does sound good! Nice and fresh and healthy. And just look at those vibrant colours!

  7. You bet I’m going to be making this! Thank you!

  8. Hi Kalyn,

    I may have to make some of this slaw… it sounds and looks delicious!

  9. looks absolutely lovely. i was thinking just this afternoon that it’s been ages since I had a good slaw salad and here you are reading my mind!

  10. that sure looks colorful! and yes, anything raw has to be nutritious:)

  11. I love the idea of a slaw with lime and cilantro. I’m adding this (link) to my post Snappy Crunchy Cole Slaw!

  12. Bee, that would definitely work. (Unfortunately, I’m a bit of a mayo freak.)

    Zoe, can’t see any reason Napa Cabbage wouldn’t be great in this. Hmm, maybe I’ll try it too.

    Sue Bette and Maria, I thought of fish tacos when I was writing this up!

    Brendalou, great idea and fun hearing from someone else who loved the recipe.

  13. Kalyn, I made this salad almost exactly as you did last week with the addition of some cubed grilled chicken and some kidney beans for my dinner. It was awesome.

  14. I can’t wait to make this slaw with fish tacos! Yum!! Thanks Kalyn!

  15. Do you think this would work with napa cabbage? I have half a head I need to use up.

  16. I am making fish tacos tonight and this is a perfect side dish recipe!
    Thanks Kalyn!

  17. lovely blend of flavours. we replace mayo with low-fat yogurt/sour cream sometimes.

  18. Peter, that’s just how I felt when I spotted the recipe!

    Magpie, thanks. This kind of feedback means a lot to me.

  19. I just wanted to say that I really enjoy your blog. Almost every single recipe is something that I want to make or have made, and you’re always giving nice health tips. Thank you!

  20. You had me with lime and cilantro. I can almost taste the crunchiness. Great slaw Kalyn.